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After 3500 miles lets see what they say!
Written By: 
J Arens





If you want to learn about how a machine holds up, talk to the mechanics that work on one.  It’s even better if you can talk to the mechanics who work on rental machines because they see it all; the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.


When Textron introduced their Stampede 900 4x4 more than a year ago, many had questions about the company that was new to off-road Powersports, and about the machine that was new from the ground up, including the motor.  Would they last?  It’s fair to say that for more than a year on the trails and job sites, that question has been answered.  We wanted the expert opinion though and for that, we went to the guys that work on them.  



M&M Powersports in Hancock, Michigan is a full service, multi-line dealer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  The area is a year-round sports mecca, and during the summer that means trail riding.  The area trails feature just about everything you could want.  There are tight trails, mud, sand, twisty sections and high speed runs, and rocks.  Since this was an area heavily mined a century ago, there are lots of rocks in some places.  In short, it’s the perfect area for testing all aspects of a machine.  M&M also rents out ATVs and Side x Sides including their fleet of Stampede 900’s.  They would know what worked and what didn’t.  With some of the Stampedes in the M&M rental fleet logging over 3500 miles, here is how the Stampede holds up.



CHASSIS     No problems reported from the chassis.  There have been no apparent cracks or structural member failures



BODYWORK     The Stampede bodywork is prone to the usual scratches and dings most other Side x Sides experience, but the plastic is durable and does not tend to crack easily or fall off.  It does a good job of keeping the riders protected



UNDERBODY     Rocks, stones, and logs take their toll, but vital areas offer adequate protection, although they will show abuse.  For serious rock crawling, aftermarket A-Arm protection would make us a feel a little better, especially for protecting rubber CV boots.



TIRES & WHEELS     The tires show ordinary wear patterns.  If you ride in the rocks you will get stone chips and the occasional cut, but no different than any other brand.     Every rental unit should be sent out with a tire repair kit, however.



SUSPENSION     No noticeable shock fade.  No suspension failures.



CAB / CONTROLS     Textron also makes aircraft and they absolutely cannot have control or electrical failures.  All Stampede 900 controls still working.  Seat foam has not broken down.



ENGINE     The engine has performed very well with no failures and only ordinary maintenance.  The only engine problem came after one rental unit was accidentally submerged in a lake.  Chalk that up to driver error. Cost for engine repairs was over $3500.



CLUTCH & BELT     The clutch has performed very well, and even at 3000 miles the belt showed almost no wear.  However, the belt was changed as a preventative measure.  As a rental unit, it is better to change belts than send a crew on a rescue mission.



TRANSMISSION     Shifts as it should with positive engagement



SQUEAKS     Some brands experience so many suspension bushing squeaks and groans over a short time it’s like riding with a brood of piglets in the back.  Thankfully the Stampede manages to avoid this problem.



MAINTENANCE     Oil and air filter changes were performed as recommended.  Oil filter and air filter access are acceptable.  Oil drain plug is located on the bottom of the oil reservoir and drains out the bottom of the chassis.  Oil dip stick is easily found under the access panel.   


Overall, the Textron Stampede 900 4x4 has held up very well.  We simply have heard of no complaints or lingering problems, which is unusual to say the least.  That would indicate their reliability record is very good.  The Stampede 900 has performed beyond expectations on the trail, with little time in the shop other than for ordinary scheduled maintenance.  If it can stand up to the torments of temporary rental drivers it will easily handle your landscaping projects, trips to deer camp, and casual trail rides.  


NOTE:  Special thanks to M&M Powersports for their insight and help with this trail report.



Downtown Hancock at the river

90 Navy Street - Hancock, MI 49930

Phone:   (906) 482-9990


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